The Somali Civil War is an ongoing civil war taking place in Somalia. It grew out of resistance to the Siad Barre regime during the 1980s. By 1988–90, the Somali Armed Forces began engaging various armed rebel groups, including the Somali Salvation Democratic Front in the northeast, the Somali National Movement in the northwest, and the United Somali Congress in the south. The clan-based armed opposition groups eventually managed to overthrow the Barre government in 1991.
Various factions began competing for influence in the power vacuum that followed, which precipitated an aborted UN peacekeeping attempt in the mid-1990s. A period of decentralization ensued, characterized by a return to customary and religious law in many areas as well as the establishment of autonomous regional governments in the northern part of the country. This also led to a relative decrease in the intensity of the fighting, with SIPRI removing Somalia from its list of major armed conflicts for the years 1997 and 1998.
In 2000, the Transitional National Government was established, followed by the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in 2004. In 2006, the TFG, assisted by Ethiopian troops, seized most of the south from the newly formed Islamic Courts Union (ICU). The ICU subsequently splintered into more radical groups, notably Al-Shabaab, which have since been fighting the Somali government and the AU-mandated AMISOM intervention force for control of the country.
In 2011, a joint military operation between the Somali military and multinational forces began. In August 2014, the Somali government-led Operation Indian Ocean was launched to cleanup the remaining insurgent-held pockets in the countryside.